Daren says I love you without words; he will not admit to vulnerability. Instead, he says it with his mouth, in the way his lips press and his teeth bite. He says it with his fingers that pass the shared cigarette back and forth, and his hands that grip like iron. He says it with his eyes that do not look away in the silence he is unhurried to break. He says it with metal, sometimes, and blood, sweat, semen. He says it with his presence and the simple truth that he could leave but has not yet chosen to. Daren says I love you with every moment he allows love to cage him, and every cough, every pain, every drop of blood he hides to maintain that cage.